Felipe Abas Aranda a Calacetino at the Goya Workshop. Personage. Province Teruel. Aragon manages it.

Felipe Abas Aranda a Calacetino at the Goya Workshop Teruel. Aragon.


Aragon > Teruel > Calaceite





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- That Calaceite is a beautiful town in the province of Teruel we know that we were born in that Villa, those who live in it and those who visit it. But what we ignored many, is that among the children of this town stood out a painter named FELIPE ABAS ARANDA to whom Don Francisco de Goya y LUCIENTES made his disciple and appointed painter of the Madrid City Council.

This information came to me through a childhood friend, Miguel Berenguer Gascón, who loves our family very much and who lives in a town close to mine called Valjunquera, whose love for reading has led him to be a scholar of what is related to the Bajo Aragon.

To awaken my journalistic curiosity, this information from Berenguer was enough and, driven by enthusiasm, I wrote to Mayor of Madrid to get me in contact with the right person and thus locate data and, where appropriate, the work of the artist, since he was painter of the City council of Madrid by designation of the own Goya. At the suggestion of the mayor Mr. Ruiz Gallardón, the Councilor for Studies and Programs answered me informing me that he was transferring my letter to the Councilor for the Government of the Arts of the City of Madrid and, as a result of this, I was informed by the Directorate of Patrimony Cultural, that in the municipal collections there is no record of any work of this author, but that also, they transferred the theme to the Municipal Museum so that my request could be attended.

Consulting the Espasa Calpe encyclopedia, I confirmed part of the information that Miguel Berenguer gave me and I could read that Abás (Felipe) born in Calaceite in 1777 and died in Madrid in 1813, was a disciple of Goya and left several portraits of Carlos IV and his first spouse. He was a painter of the Madrid City Council.

Also in the programs of the Goya and Goyesco exhibition, which took place in the Torreón de Lozoya Palace, in Segovia, from June to August 2003, the name of the Felipe Abás Calaceitano is spoken and reviewed.

As I consider interesting, even if it is insufficient, the information obtained about this character that exalts Our people, I thought it would be opportune to offer it immediately: In the year 1777 was born in Calaceite on April 30, Felipe Abás Aranda, and is baptized on May 1. It is the third of the children of the marriage contracted by Manuel Abás and Francisca Aranda in 1770. He entered as a student at the Academy of San Luis de Zaragoza in 1793 and receives from this Academy the first First Class Painting Prize and is subsequently recognized by the same as Supernumerary Scholar. He continued his studies in Madrid, under the direction of Don Francisco de Goya and chose in the years 1,802 and 1,805 the Prizes of the Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, although he did not succeed. From his work, two paintings came to the Provincial Museum of Zaragoza: The Samaritan and the Resurrected Jesus Christ, copies of two works by Goya. The Museum confirms that there is only one portrait of Don Manuel del Castillo.

But there is an unresolved question: According to the presentation brochure of the Goya and the Goyesco exhibition, the disciples and collaborators of the Goya Workshop do not relate directly to the teacher's work and the works that come out of that Workshop are not related either. The great demand of real portraits by official organisms and particular commissions, on the occasion of the arrival to the Throne of Spain of the kings Carlos IV and María Luisa de Parma, necessarily had to count in the Goya Workshop with collaborators and disciples to reproduce so many paintings. But they hardly know works of these: Ascenio Julia, Luis Gil Sanz, Felipe Abas Aranda, Leon Ortega, Dionisio Gómez Coma, Rosario Weis .... The Espasa encyclopedia also coincides in that opinion, when it speaks of Goya: In 1789 he painted the first portraits of Carlos IV and his wife. Difficult is that all those who of these kings are attributed to the artist, are really from his brush.

On the other hand, in the Bulletin of History and Geography of Bajo Aragon, in volume II, citing the Biographical Gallery of Spanish Artists of the 19th century, by Ossorio and Bernard, in its second enlarged edition (Madrid 1883-84), it is noted among the works of the Calaceitano painter, the portraits of Prince Fernando, then King of Spain and his first wife, two self-portraits, and an oil painting of one of his daughters, several miniatures, drawings and a sketch representing Santa Orosia, whose painting was destined to the Church of Calaceite, but that never ended because he was surprised before death. This project was conceived in honor of his grandmother Orosia; hence the choice of Santa. It is also cited between the work of Abas, the Altarpiece of San Jose for a church in Aragon, without saying which, and it is spoken of the collection that the family conserves in which it appears an oil of the Pope San Gregorio.

In 1813 Goya granted him the title of painter of the Madrid City Council; A few days after the appointment, Abas Aranda died, when he was only 36 years old.

The artistic taste of Calaceite has not only existed in this and other artists throughout its history. They also came from other places at different times who helped to preserve the rich cultural heritage and left their art in the parish church, so admired and envied in Bajo Aragón. So we read in the municipal accounts of 1637 the citations of some of the painters that make reference to the altarpiece of the High Altar as the one of Armingot, nicknamed it painted, by the visage that he had made of the painting of the alluded altarpiece, receiving by his work 18 pounds jaquesas, on August 8, 1637. And Juan de Asín, who in 1658, was associated with the Flemish painter Godofredo de Stanimola to work oil the altarpiece of Souls, which in the Parish Church of Calaceite commissioned the Juries of the Villa, according to the design that is designed roughly in the writing of the agreement. In this writing the issues of the Altarpiece compartments are specified and the backgrounds or fields of fine blue or white and golden grooves are required. The price of the work amounts to 50 pounds. There is not a lack of the customary reserve of making the work visually or inspected by an ideal painter.

All these paintings, including the altarpiece of the High Altar, disappeared, and the bombings of the year 1936 destroyed much of the arciprestal church but not quite the magnificent Baroque façade that opens the Temple in three doors, all of them studded with large forged nails relief. In the reconstruction of the church, Parish Priest Mosen Vicente Orti Sebastia took special care. He achieved his purpose with ecclesiastical, official and private support. It is necessary to emphasize the fact that, in December of 1941, Don Agustin Aguilo Segarra, then mayor of the Villa, agreed to make a cash contribution for the work, and head in the Consistory, a motion inviting the neighbors to a personal contribution of two wages or its equivalent in pesetas.

Today the Temple, after its solemn consecration held on October 12, 1948, continues to amaze the visitor for its splendor. It is also the object of admiration the lordship of the buildings that line the streets, surrounding the squares, and are noted in beautiful balconies and arcades.

Calaceite, Kalatzeit, is a town that enjoys historical-artistic recognition. To visit Calaceite is to find its Arab past adorned with Venetian details that are discovered in graceful balconies. The factory of its best buildings gives rise to Italy in memory. On the other hand, good food justifies its inclusion in the best gastronomic guides in Spain.

Not being a historian, but a journalist and lover of my people, I wanted to collect these scattered notes about Felipe Abás Aranda with the desire to record one of the notable figures of how many times the town where I was born.

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Felipe Abas Aranda a Calacetino at the Goya Workshop

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